The night before practice, after a lot of questions and thinking, we realized that I may be ambidextrous. This may seem like no big deal outside of archery, but this could explain issues I have been having when I get tired and my arrow tend to hit to the right of the target. In order to compensate, I need to cover one eye during shooting. This will be the first tournament in which I have done that so I was stressing about it a bit as I went to sleep.
Arriving to the practice field I was a little nervous at first because I had to try shooting with sunglasses with one side blocked out. The reason for the sunglasses was because every time I would practice my shots would consistently go right no matter how much I moved my sight so we thought it might be a result of an eye dominance problem. When we got to the field I went to go find a target to set up at and thankfully I had my coach’s help so we could figure out what was going wrong. While I was shooting my coach and I noticed my arrows were more centered so we decided I should give the sunglasses a shot for the tournament.
First Qualification Day
When I got up the day of qualification I was excited to see my friends and interested to see how the sunglasses would work out. As I was warming up with the 3 practice ends given I felt confident and I was ready to get started. Throughout the tournament my shoulder muscles continued to get more tired because of my previous shoulder injury but I managed to power through and ended up with no misses in a really long time. My scores were 255 and 232.
Second Qualification Day
The next morning, I woke and my shoulders were extremely sore but I knew I could get through it. I was bummed out to be sore but I have been unable to exercise the muscles for several months so they were weak. Even though I ended up with two misses (that were just because I dropped my arm and they both landed in the same spot right outside of the 1 ring) I still managed a 232 and a 217. This felt like a win for me because I figured out the issue of going to the right, as well as having sore muscles and no longer any pain.
I did not make it to eliminations because my scores were too low but that meant I would get to straight to team rounds, which is my favorite part of the tournament. Team rounds are always fun to me and this time I didn’t know anyone on my team so that meant new friends. One of the girls on my team had never shot team rounds before so we had to help her out and coach her through it she was a little nervous which affected her shooting which was totally fine because team rounds are just for fun and we had fun for sure.
Overall, I was happy with what I learned. Once back home, I cranked my limbs up a couple of pounds so that I can strengthen the muscles. I am looking forward to shooting over the fall where I can see the results of the hard work. Finally I feel like I am making progress!
I am finally back and getting caught up! This is my journal for Outdoor Nationals…man it rained so much!
Official Practice Day
As I was shooting during practice most of my arrows were going low and I knew I wasn’t dropping my arm so I moved my sight down and begun to shoot in the middle.
First Qualification Day
When I woke up this morning I had a huge pain in my front shoulder, realizing that my arrows were going low because I had too much pressure on my front shoulder. I hadn’t been sighted in that way at home! As we arrived at the field I soon realized that the wind was very fast and normally I would do great (I LOVE WIND) but my shoulder hurt so bad, I knew it would be rough. In addition to it being hard because of my shoulder, it was also hard because of the wind would change speed and/or direction after every arrow.
Second Qualification Day
There was a really bad storm this day and our shooting was delayed for 6 hours and we only got 42 arrows done. I did a lot better during those arrows.
During OR’s I won the first one so we were (0-2). My competitor won the second, third and last bringing it to (6-2). I was bummed but we had a good time.
I was really happy because for team rounds I was paired with people I already knew and that were nice as well as great shooters. We were paired against a great team and it made for a great competition! They won the first and second round making it (4-0) then we came back and tied (4-4). This meant ONE ARROW SHOOT OFF! Each person goes up and shoots one arrow, three total. Each shot performed by my team and the other team were great; we knew we were close. When we got down there and scored, WE TIED AGAIN! At first, the judges said they were going to make us shoot again but then they decided to go by closest to the center…theirs was a 9 and ours was an 8. L
I was excited for this tournament because I was ready to see all my friends since I didn’t go to Arizona Cup. When we arrived, the weather was perfect and there was barely any wind, I was ready to shoot! As I began shooting, I noticed my arrows were grouping to the right so I moved my sight because I knew it wasn’t the wind. Then I saw my arrows weren’t as tight as they should be which made me think. I realized that my form was not consistent enough because I wasn’t using my back every time. I worked on fixing that. My score wasn’t where I wanted it to be but I realized things on my own so I consider that a major achievement.
Youth World Trials-Day 2
This was a second day of shooting 72 arrows to combine with the first day in order to get a chance to make the Youth World team. I was able to get more sleep and I was feeling good but I realized I had been badly sunburned the day before. My mom had been on me about putting on the sunscreen but I didn’t do it when she said to. I wish I had remembered what happened that year in Arizona and maybe it would have helped me pay attention better. It is hard for sunburn to not be distracting. I shot about the same, talked it over with Kevin, and knew that I have to work on my consistency. When I shoot with the perfect form I have finally figured out for me, I shoot 9s and 10s. It is my goal this year to get better at always remembering that form.
Gator Cup Elimination Round-Day 3
I went into the 1/32 round feeling good about it. I like the OR part of tournaments but I still haven’t figured out how to not be overly excited. That is something I have to work on. I had a good time in my match and we went back and forth the whole time. There was a rain delay when we were at 5-3 so we sat for a long time waiting. Once we got started again, I won the match and tied. It came down to us being 5-5, a ONE ARROW SHOOT OFF. Try to stay calm during that? It isn’t easy. My sunburn is blisters at this point and making me miserable. There was ANOTHER rain break for even longer and I really thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish my match. Just when it seemed they would cancel everything entirely, the clouds broke open, the sun came out and we got another chance to finish! We finally got up on the line and were just about to shoot when some of my friends, too many of them, started cheering my name. It was weird. I was trying to stay calm and focus but they made me laugh. Here I was, two hours after a rain delay, trying to shoot one arrow with blistered sunburn. I couldn’t stop shaking! I finally shot and was too busy trying to drop the bow and see where I shot that I didn’t think about what that was going to do to the arrow. I SHOT A THREE. It was terrible. I didn’t think I had a shot but my opponent did the same thing! When we got to look closer, she had just broken the line into the four. I lost by one stinking point. It was a bummer but also funny. I spent the remainder of the afternoon cheering on the same friends that had done that for me.
All together, I accomplished a few things this time around. I know now that I am getting better at self-diagnosing problems. I also know I have to keep trying to get stronger and pull some more weight on my bow, with out sacrificing my form. I know I am on the right track and I have to exercise patience as things come along in their own time. That part is hard. I am looking forward to seeing my friends again this summer at Outdoor Nationals. Hopefully I will see more of you then!
I hope everyone’s holiday break was amazing! I spent Christmas with my favorite Marvel character so that was pretty awesome. 🙂
I am getting ready to head to JDT camp in Colorado Springs as an invitee next week. I will be keeping a journal as usual to let you guys know what new stuff I learn. Are there any new questions you might have? Anything you want me to find out for you?
The US Nationals in Ohio was really fun but definitely not my best score wise. The wind was TERRIBLE and I had gone down in limb poundage because of a growth cycle making me pull too much. This resulted in my arrows being easier to blow all over the place. Another issue is I am having a problem with my release being inconsistent. That didn’t help in terms of score.
I don’t want this to be a negative post though so lets focus on the positives. I hydrated and ate really well and if you have read any of my previous posts, you know that is something I have been working hard on because of how my very first Arizona Cup went. I worked on maintaining a positive attitude even though things were not going well. We learned a lot from a couple of coaches which was very helpful. I didn’t make it to eliminations and they canceled team rounds due to severe weather so the trip ended early for everyone.
Now I am working on training for Texas Shootout and trying to work on my mental game. I hope that I get to see you guys there!
So much going on the last couple of weeks! I know that things are about to get super crazy so I wanted to make sure to post the past two events since I missed doing that do to traveling!
At JOAD Nationals in Snellville, GA I was glad to be there because I got to meet new people. The first day I was so excited to shoot; I was ready and pumped up. I found myself doing the right things and going through my process and in the correct timing more than previous shoots. I was able to self-coach as well. Both days this happened and I was proud of myself for reaching this point. I didn’t shoot the highest score at this location (I think I was second) but I had so much fun!
At State Indoor/NFAA Sectionals in Gainesville, FL I was excited to go shoot with my team and meat more people! As I was shooting I realized I was going to fast and I had to slow down. When I did, I shot very well. I met new people and had a lot of fun! Guess what? I also broke 1000! FINALLY MY SCORE IS GOING BACK UP AFTER BEING BROKEN DOWN LAST YEAR! It was only by five points but STILL, it made me really happy.
WOW what a week! There was so much to see and learn.
Day before practice:
As we drove up to the field I was so excited that I had actually arrived. Then as I started unpacking my stuff from the car I realized I left my glasses in the room! So as we were walking down to the practice side of the field I tried to think of where I left them, but I couldn’t so I just let it go. When we finally reached the practice side and I started putting my bow together I saw friends and talked to them. After I got my bow together I went over to a target and started to shoot. As I shot more and more, a lot of people started to show up and take up bales at 60m, because there was only 3. So they moved 1 more up but it still didn’t help; because there were at least four lines and not enough time. So I only got to shoot 50 arrows and eventually went back to the hotel and found my glasses. I also discovered that I had put my limbs on upside down. Funny, right?
WHAT A DAY!
We agreed we would change them around the next morning.
We arrived at the field I had remembered my glasses AND my limbs were on the right way.
I WAS READY TO SHOOT!
As time passed, more of my friends showed up and decided to shoot with me. When I was done shooting, I put every arrow in the blue and in which was my goal for 60m this year, so YEAH! I felt ready for the tournament.
First Day of Qualifier:
I arrived at the field confident because of my shooting the days before. As I put my bow and toolbox by my bale, I got to meet the people I was shooting with. On my bale I had a team member from the Chinese Taipei team. It was so cool watching them go through their shot sequence and seeing that their shots were so consistent. It was also cool that I go to trade a pin with here and get a Taiwan pin. I started shooting and was low and got easily discouraged. I moved my sight down and shot level so that made me feel better. At the end of the first 36, the majority of problems were from dropping my arm. I even missed and shot below the target. I sat down and drank some water and shot a higher score at the end of the second 36 arrows. At the end of the day, I scored a 220 and a 234.
Second Day of Qualifier:
As I was approaching the field the second day I felt confident because I knew what when wrong with my low arrows so I could fix it, or try. Since I shot in the morning the second day, there was a lot less wind. When I started shooting I kept in mind to keep my arm up and I shot high because I moved my sight. I realized now that the previous day I was low because I was dropping my arm! After I shot an end and was consistently high, I moved my sight back to where it was and put three arrows in the gold. I shot three in the gold and automatically was so excited and I was ready to start scoring. I shot 2 more practice ends then it was time to score. As we scored the first end I had no arrows outside of the blue. I was shooting everything in my form felt good; then the wind picked up and was blowing against me and my front follow through wasn’t good two shots in a row. I got two 4s low in the 6th end. After the 4s I got discouraged but then I realized that they were my only 2 out of the blue so far. I tried to keep a positive outlook on it through the rest of the day and only ended up with 5 out of the blue that day. At the end of the day, I shot a 257 the first 36 and a 269 the second 36. I improved throughout the tournament a lot because Coach Diane was able to be there with me throughout the tournament and help me think things through more quickly. Since my form was broken down completely in January and then again in March at JDT camp, this was the first time I was able to get back up to the 260-270s I was shooting before. It has taken so long but I am glad to know that I have the tools for the proper form and I am finally going back up! I ended up 40th out of 70th, not the best but I shot my personal best for a FITA round so I am still happy with my second day improvements.
US Open OR and Team Rounds:
In the morning I didn’t have to shoot but Compound Kevin did so I went along and coached him. Up first was the 1/32 round and the wind was blowing consistently left and that’s where they were hitting. I told him to watch the wind and it worked! He shot an X! It was so much fun coaching him and he won his first match and advanced to shoot against Jesse Broadwater, a pro and really, really good compound shooter. I thought Kevin would be really nervous, and he was a little, but not as much as I thought. He shot really well (all red and in) but Jesse shot better by about 15 points so Kevin did not advance to the 3rd round. He shot well though and I was proud of him. After he was done we went back to the hotel and I rested until it was time to go back for my team round.
When we went back to the field, I had no idea who was on my team so it was a surprise. Mom went to check while I put my bow together and it turned out I was placed on a team with a girl from my old archery club and one that was right above me in placement. My team worked well together and we shot an end where we each shot a 5 and then a 10 in that order. We got all excited that we were ahead by 20 and then the last end we all dropped our arms and shot 4s and below. We lost and didn’t move on but we had so much FUN.
I shot in the morning and my mom checked who I was shooting against and it was Ashleigh Koval and she is on the Junior Dream Team. I was a little worried but decided I would just step up my game. I stepped up to the line she was there too and she is so nice! She is also left-handed so we shot face to face. We started scoring and two points went on the board for me so I thought it was just a lucky end. We shot another and I won the set again so it was 4-0. I couldn’t believe it. I got excited.
The next one passed and she won which put us at 4-2. The next round we tied and it was 5-3, then another she won which put us at 5-5. I was taking her to a one-arrow shoot off! I got so excited and I didn’t breath, dropped my arm and forgot to aim off for the wind. Ashleigh won and advanced. She didn’t have a spotting scope so I went to spot for her. She did really well but her competitor won. I had so much fun shooting with her and spotting for her.
The tournament was so much fun and if you are reading this thinking “Hey, I want to try archery!” I recommend the Outdoor Nationals. It was a LONG tournament but it was so much fun because we had time to enjoy each round instead of rushing through them.
There was so much interesting stuff that had nothing to do with archery at this event! There was a snake wrangler to catch rattlesnakes and our first briefing was about making sure to KICK the target before picking it up because of crawly things like spiders and scorpions! One day, we had a huge dust devil come through, big enough to pick up tents and flip over targets came through and the tournament was delayed until they could right everything else. Some people had arrows break in half! NEVER SAY ARCHERY ISN’T AN EXTREME SPORT!
My notes are posted below. I am back to training again because I have to be in Texas at the end of the month. YEAH archery season!
Do you guys have questions?
Day 1-Qualification Rounds
I went into the tournament pretty confident I was going to do well. When I got to the field and I saw the flags flapping in the wind, it gave me a little shock. Once I regained my focus, I began to shoot. I started shooting to where my arrows were spread all around the target. After about two ends my arrows started to compress more towards the center of the target, with an occasional one in the blue. When the whole tournament was over and the scores were totaled, I ended up with a 501, which was 49 points of the minimum qualifying score. I know I could have gotten it if it weren’t for so much wind and if I hadn’t dropped a two and some in the black and blue. Overall though, I thought every thing went really well.
Well, this was an interesting day…but I didn’t know that from the start. I went into the Olympic Round feeling confident, but I made the mistake of not eating much breakfast, not finishing my lunch and not drinking enough water. I was nervous but I understand now that I have to make sure that I load my protein in early that morning. I started shooting and shot consistently high right and even missed the target. When we were done, I only scored 35 points out of 15 arrows when I normally get that in 5 arrows and lost that round 6-0 and didn’t get to advance. We had to leave after that since we drove. By the time we stopped to get dinner, I wasn’t feeling good. I started to get dizzy and couldn’t walk. I learned a lot that day. Hahaha, I will never skip breakfast and lunch again.
NOTE: My mom wants me to mention that I was given protein bars, shakes, sports drink and water in my cooler but I decided not to use them. She also said that she would become one of those crazy archery parents that yell at their kids if I do this again. Since that would be embarrassing, I don’t think that I will make the same choices over again.
This weekend, I went to the Texas Shootout. When I went to practice I arrived next to Brady Ellison, one of the top men archers in the world, I was pretty excited. When I practiced, I was doing good. After a good practice, we went to Wal-Mart to pick up food and we got my favorite, roasted chicken, Hawaiian rolls and salad! After dinner I had some dessert (evil brownies made by my Aunt) and I started thinking about the next day and how I could get first and do really well. When I woke up, I got breakfast and went to the archery field.
The Competition Begins
I saw the pros arrive and my competition…I had the Junior Dream Team as my competition! I knew right there it would be tough. When we started shooting I was in 9th place for most of the tournament. Then I started to get tired and my arrows started dropping low and I fell in last place. ::sad face:: When we got done I was last but I learned a lot from my competitors Karissa, Mariam and Hye.
Day 3 in Texas
The next day I didn’t have to shoot but I watched the pros and got pictures with Brady Ellison, Jennifer Nichols, Khatuna, Miranda and the Coach Thomas from Texas A & M. I was very grateful that I got to watch them and take pictures with them. It was a really great experience and I am very glad I went!
I fell short of my goal of 400 but I am 12 so I think I get a little time to bring it up. For the next calendar year, I am setting my goal of a 550 or better for my next USAT qualifier. I want to do this so that I can apply for the Junior Dream Team Camp. If you would be interested in doing that, the requirements can be found on the USA Archery site here. Beyond that, I would hope to be ranked high enough to apply to the Resident Athlete program in a couple of years. Those requirements are on the USA Archery site here.